Ganassi’s hopes for another Rolex 24 victory took a major hit when Kanaan had to bring the Riley-Ford EcoBoost car behind the wall and lost several laps.
The #02 Ganassi, arguably the strongest challenger to the dominance of the Michael Shank Racing Ligier-Honda, was struck with troubles on lap 255, soon after a restart caused by the Konrad Lamborghini #21 needing rescuing from the track.
The Ganassi team reported that Kanaan’s brake pedal had gone to the floor and so the team was having to change the brake system. With this happening under green flag conditions, it meant the car lost some 10 laps, killing its chances of victory. Kyle Larson took over when it re-emerged.
Following pit stops, Ricky Taylor’s WTR Corvette DP emerged ahead of Negri, with Eric Curran leading teammate and Rolex 24 legend Scott Pruett in the Action Express cars. IndyCar ace Ryan Hunter-Reay ran fifth in the Visit Florida Corvette DP.
The GTLM battle heated up considerably in this ninth hour. Following a restart, James Calado’s SMP Racing Ferrari 488 emerged from some fraught action ahead of the two Corvettes – Gavin now ahead of Magnussen – followed by Earl Bamber in the #912 Porsche, and Toni Vilander in the Risi Ferrari.
However, Calado had just pitted when a caution period – caused by an off for PC car #85, JDC Miller’s Kenton Koch – put the Ferrari back in sixth. Gavin left it until the end of the caution period to pit, leaving teammate Magnussen at the head of the GTLM pack, with Augusto Farfus in the #25 BMW second, ahead of Michael Christensen’s Porsche #912.